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NYPD Entrapment Of Older Gay Men To Be Investigated

NYPD Entrapment Of Older Gay Men To Be Investigated

There was a big response when we brought you the story of some 30 men who were propositioned by undercover police officers at adult film stores in New York and then subsequently arrested for “loitering for the purpose of prostitution”. To update you, a coalition that was formed by several of those arrested met with the District Attorney of Manhattan this week, and he has vowed to investigate if the NYPD have been behaving improperly, which may be his legalese way of saying he’s looking into accusations of entrapment.

The original post detailing the fifty arrests since 2004 of older gay men in and around Manhattan’s adult stores can be found here.

Robert Pinter, who was arrested in October 2008 after an undercover police officer attempted to pay him for a sexual liaison that the former had just agreed to have, has spearheaded the group calling themselves the “Coalition to Stop the Arrests”.

The group, who formed early 2009, has campaigned long and hard for this enquiry to be made and even lobbied outside of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s house in February when appeals seemed to be falling on deaf ears.

Pinter and several other members of the group met with the 90 year old DA Robert Morgenthau who was most adamant that the case be examined. “The first thing Morgenthau said was, ‘We are going to investigate all these cases,’” one of the groups members, Joey Nelson, also coordinator for the Queer Justice League (not to be confused with the Justice League of America, though, I’m sure, looking just as good in spandex), said.

Pink News
also caught up with Robert Pinter, founder of Coalition to Stop the Arrests, following the meeting.

Pinter had little to say on why he couldn’t come up with a catchier name for the group, possibly for fear he’d be arrested on trumped-up loitering charges if he stayed in any one place too long, but commented that DA Morgenthau had talked of approaching each man involved in the case, some of whom pleaded guilty to lesser charges to escape harsher sentences and the stigma attached to a conviction for solicitation, and would look at each complaint individually, giving help and advice where he could.

The DA was also considering dropping the charges against five men who had pleaded not guilty, which is perhaps an indication to the overall tone of his investigation.

Robert Pinter didn’t say if the DA Robert Morgenthau might examine New York city’s legal cases against six of the shops where the alleged acts of loitering for prostitution occurred, cases that later led to the city buying up the properties and selling them on for a tidy sum.

Is there a puritanical cleanup going on in Manhattan, and older gay men like Robert Pinter have been caught in its wake? A money making exercise perhaps? Entrapment is the word on many people’s lips, but no one is quite willing to call it out in an official capacity, but Mayor Bloomberg’s all but silence on the issue seems to speak volumes.

GLBT groups throughout America have reacted angrily to what they see as a return to previous homophobic form that many had thought long since past where the NYPD were concerned, but statements released by the NYPD claim they were reacting to legitimate nuisance complaints made against the stores and the people that frequent them. Check back, because I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear of this case.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution license, with thanks to atp tyreseus.

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10:03PM PDT on Mar 13, 2009

You are so right Black T, it is ignorant to believe that being gay and being a pedophile is the same thing or even related in any way at all. In fact stats show that most pedophiles are white, middle-aged heterosexuals.

10:00PM PDT on Mar 13, 2009

Nicky why did you feel the need to say "by the way I'm straight" if it's not an issue with you? No one has said "as long as no one gets hurt being straight is ok" either.

11:34AM PDT on Mar 12, 2009

The wrong-mindness of the justice system that gay men are a danger to children, should turn their searches to paedophiles and leave the "gays" alone.

10:14AM PDT on Mar 12, 2009

I say live and let live. As long as no one is getting hurt, men and women of any persuasion should be allowed to get on with their lives. Nikki Tee hit it right on.....we all get "paid" in some form.
It seems, from the article, these gay men were not actively looking to pick someone up anyway! What two people do in their bedroom shouldn't be anyone's long as nobody is hurt. BTW, I'm straight.

8:04AM PDT on Mar 12, 2009

One would think the cops or NYPD has no better things to chase after. We are all in a way paid for sex in "love" or just for "fun". Life is a give & take. We ALL trade something. My motto is: live & let live, as long as there is no danger to no one. Was drug involved? or just money.
Sometimes stories do not tell all either.

8:01AM PDT on Mar 12, 2009

One would think the cops or NYPD has no better things to chase after. We are all in a way paid for sex in "love" or just for "fun". Life is a give & take. We ALL trade something. My motto is: live & let live, as long as there is no danger to no one. Was drug involved? or just money.
Sometimes stories do not tell all either.

7:36PM PDT on Mar 11, 2009

p.s. Rightwing "ism" requires endless scapegoating, and generic hatred is a lot easier for many confused people to express than their underlying personal life issues.

7:34PM PDT on Mar 11, 2009

"Religulous" people in power are intent on scapegoating gay people more than ever: because the System itself is unraveling. Law enforcement should be dealing with reform re: punitive drug laws and sick anti-sex-worker laws, etc. They should be working with more community groups. Instead, political opportunism reigns supreme and "law and order" plus homophobia = handy scapegoats for hatred, instead of handling the roots of our problems as a nation.

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